Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Star Trek is flexing its muscles, and this time it’s war!

The second movie in the franchise. Many consider it the best one. It’s definitely one of my favorites.
A major step-up compared to the previous entry.

An old enemy

The story flows very well, not dragging its feet, getting you from one point to the next with ease, but also surprising you at key moments.
Khan is a compelling villain, ruthless and cruel, helped by a weird over-the-top performance by Ricardo Montalban, that somehow just works well in this context.

Kirk has a good story arc in this one. He struggles with being an Admiral, and with age. He faces an old nemesis, and has to suffer the tragic consequences of sparing him years earlier.
He has to deal with his son hating him, and loses a dear friend with the death of Spock, in a very emotional scene.

Props to William Shatner (he’s just great… Khaaaaaaaaannn !!!) and Leonard Nimoy.

The movie adds tension well, with the mind-controlled officers, or the submarine-esque battle in the nebula.

Just look at those ships!

I really enjoy how this movie looks. The ships and Regula I space station models are once again looking great and are full of details.
One of my favorite things in old movies, the matte paintings, are beautiful.
Especially in the seemingly infinite paradise inside the supposedly dead planetoid.
The horrific sand eels (eek…) are great puppetry work.
And how about that computer generated sequence to simulate the Genesis device? Very impressive for the time.

I also think this movie brings a better sense of scale to this universe, you see more locations, more life, like scenes at Kirk’s apartment.

I don’t mention the music, it’s not something I pay a lot of attention to, unless it’s very good or very bad. Nothing to say here so we’ll consider that as good.

The 60’s are not dead

There are not many things I could hold against it, the movie succeeds at what it wants to do.
If I’m nitpicking I’d say that we don’t see enough of Khan’s cruelty.
There is also too little time given to Kirk’s relationship with his son, and barely any scenes between him and Carol.
The general look of Khan and his mates is odd, these costumes and haircuts make them look like hippies.

On like Chaka Khan

In my opinion this is a great space adventure, with great production value and an enjoyable story to follow.
A great start to the best segment of the Star Trek movies.

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